Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag (pictured), who made international headlines after being placed on death row in Sudan for supposedly renouncing her faith and marrying a Christian, has arrived in the United States with her family, according to BBC.
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Soon after landing, another released photo showed Ishag being blessed by the Pope who reportedly “thanked her for her witness to faith,” according to a Vatican spokesman.
But this week, Ishag boarded yet another plane, taking her to Philadelphia Thursday night, where Mayor Michael Nutter described her as a “world freedom fighter” and then compared her to U.S. civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who refused to relinquish her seat to a White man on a bus during segregation.
Nutter also reportedly gave her a liberty bell replica as a symbol of American Independence.
Ishag’s final stop, though, was Manchester, New Hampshire, where a reported 40 relatives awaited her chanting, “Long live America.”
Ishag’s husband, Daniel Wani, a South Sudanese who is a U.S. citizen, reportedly thanked both the U.S. government and New Hampshire’s senators for working on their behalf.
Ishag made the news back in February, when the Sudanese government put her on death row for apostasy. They later forced her to give birth to her baby daughter chained to the floor. Under intense international pressure, Sudan was forced to release her, but when she attempted to leave the country, they accused her of having fake travel documents. Thereafter, Ishag was forced to stay at the American Embassy for nearly two months until she got on a plane to Italy.